Help me decide

Discussion in 'Community' started by ponyboy, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. ponyboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Location:
    SLC UT/Italy
    #1
    Ok I think i'll get a new machine but I need some help, technically speaking. I have configured 2 systems see image, the are exact other than the processor speed and the 1mb of L2 casche each chip. Is there any other difference people can see and do you all think $500 is a good deal for those differences?
     

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  2. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #2
    that really is a tough call. What are you going to be doing with it? And can you wait 6-8 weeks for delivery?

    D
     
  3. ponyboy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Location:
    SLC UT/Italy
    #3
    Time isnt a huge deal...(maybe I should wait for the power4)

    I am a professional photographer and am totally digital. So I run constant custom batch actions in photoshop but nothing super complicated just sizing color adjustments sharpening and saving etc...

    I also build and manage several Flash websites so I am running Flash Dreamweaver and Imageready...

    And of course will be running 10.2

    Not much of a gamer... hardly ever (do I need the radeon card?)

    Right now I am running a Rev A Powerbook G4 500 so anything will be an improvement....
     
  4. firewire2001 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    honestly, i dont think the 250 mhz will do much more for you..

    especially considering that the computer has 2 processors in it..

    plus youll get it faster :D.

    id just go ahead and buy the 1ghz model

    -f
     
  5. ponyboy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2002
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    #5
    isnt it 500 mhz total and 2mb of l3 casche total? I am leaning to the $3500 machine
     
  6. bbarnhart macrumors 6502a

    bbarnhart

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Location:
    Stilwell, Kansas
    #6
    My 2 cents

    The 2 meg L3 cache will be faster than the 1 meg L3 cache.

    However, there will not be an 'extreme' difference between the two machines. You will see an extreme differnece between your PowerBook and either machine, including the entry-level.
     
  7. awrc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #7
    Well, technically, yes, but having 2 2MB caches isn't the same as having 1 4MB cache, since you're likely to find a lot of the same stuff in both caches.

    Same applies to performance - unless your application is multi-threaded to take advantage of SMP (which, given what you do, it may) you're only going to see a 25% speed difference, not a 50% one. If the program you're running doesn't make a lot of use of SMP you get one 25% faster program and a processor dedicated to updating the clock in the corner of the screen :D

    At the end of the day it boils down to this (at least, it does in my way of thinking) - it's pretty apparent that you want the 1.25GHz box more. Do you want it enough to make 6 weeks? The fact that this is a professional's machine helps:

    Assign a value to your productivity with your current machine. Let's say you get 1 unit of productivity per week right now.

    Now assign values to the new machines - I can't give accurate values since I don't know what you currently have, but for the sake of argument, let's assume you already have a high end machine (say the previous 1GHz dual). So assume the new dual 1GHz gives you a 30% improvement in productivity(which seems about right looking at the specs, but adjust accordingly if you'll really benefit a lot from, say, the ATA100 support). Also assume that the dual 1GHz is going to give you, say, a 50% improvement in productivity.

    Now let's assume you're not going to upgrade again for over a year.

    If you buy the 1GHz, you're talking 1 week of 1 unit and 51 weeks of 1.3 units. That comes to 67.3 units in a year, making you 29.4% more efficient than you are right now!

    If you buy the 1.25GHz, you're talking 6 weeks of 1 unit and 46 weeks of 1.5 units. That comes to 75 units in a year, a 44% increase in efficiency.

    So in the long run, it makes more sense to wait the six weeks.

    Adjust the weightings, etc, if you're not happy with them, but I think if you're planning to keep it for any length of time, waiting to get the 1.25GHz makes sense. Note that these assume that price is no object. Working out $ per productivity unit is left as an exercise to the reader.
     
  8. Rajj macrumors 6502a

    Rajj

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    May 29, 2002
    Location:
    32° 44' N 117° 10' W
    #8
    If I was you, I would get the Dual 1 Ghz and add more DDR Ram;)
     
  9. ponyboy thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Location:
    SLC UT/Italy
    #9
    I planned on adding more RAM to either system but just not apple RAM...

    So the price difference is still 500 bucks for basically a processor difference, but I think that I will go for the 1 GHZ system because I can do exactly that spend an extra 500 on RAM and end up with more in the end. My current system is going to be blown away by either of these so I dont think it will be a huge deal between the two for me and either will last me a hell of a long time considering what I am using them for now is not going to change considerably over the years...

    So now my decision is do I by first Generation Like I did with the PBG4 and iPod or do I wait for a second revision, I am not in dire need to upgrade immediatly just looking forward to having a desktop system again as the laptop world really isnt for me anymore. First generation always seems to have a little bit of a burn associated with it and I have felt it too so we'll see.
     
  10. Nipsy macrumors 65816

    Nipsy

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    #10
    I would say that one way to save $200 on either machine is to buy your Combo optical drive 2 from one of the sites on pricewatch.

    It is a $60 drive which Apple is charging $250 for.

    Also, since you SuperDrive does eveything the Combo drive does, maybe a SuperDrive, and a really fast CDRW might make more sense?

    The top end machine should be 10%-15% faster overall, but by the time the midrange machine feels slow, will there be upgrade daughtercards?
     
  11. ponyboy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2002
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    #11
    Good Suggestions I was wondering about that CDRW option and whether after market burners are compatible, any suggestions on a really fast CDRW for the second bay?
     
  12. Nipsy macrumors 65816

    Nipsy

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2002
    #12
    xlr8yourmac.com has an extensive drive compatability database. The basic gist is as follows: 99% compatible with Toast. 75% compatible with Finder or iTunes. 60% compatible with Finder and iTunes. Look for one of the many cheaply available drives that is compatible across the board, then price it outside of Apple.
     
  13. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #13
    Get a burner later (I suggest getting a firewire one, so that you can easily upgrade/update later and sell/give the old one to another person/system. Get the 256MB DDR from Apple... DON'T blow an extra $200 to get the 512MB (I have seen 512MB DDR PC2700 memory for $155 here). Going with the 120GB hard drive, yanking the modem (are you still on dial-up?), and AppleCare, the total would come to $2,819.00 (dp 1GHz). If you don't need a superdrive right away (are you going to burn dvd's in the next 6 months???) drop it and get the Combo drive instead... You will save $200 there.

    Doing the same thing (can't get less then 512MB DDR on the dp 1.25GHz) would total at $3,519.00. Drop down to a combo drive, and that would be $3,319.00...

    Just things to think about... Also, since the computer now has four memory slots, there really is no reason to jack the dp 1GHz to 512 right off the bat... You will have three memory slots empty to play with... Put 512MB chips in them, and you would come to 1.75GB of DDR memory... That should be enough for your needs... If not, then trade in the 256MB that comes with the system towards a single 512 and put in four of them...
     
  14. ponyboy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2002
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    SLC UT/Italy
    #14
    Thank all ive got some studying to do on CDRW drives and DDR RAM

    I will burn DVDs, I want to back up 40 gigs of music, and dial up is dead in my book therefore so is the modem.

    Again Thanks
     
  15. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2001
    Location:
    Natick, MA
    #15
    Backing up ~40GB of information/data via a DVD-R is going to take forever. Are you going to do this just once, or every xx days?? If you are looking to do it often (more then once a year) then you might want to consider getting a tape drive. There are ones out there for ~$1,000 that can handle 33/66GB (66 with compression) and will work with the Mac (FireWire) and Retrospect.

    With the tape drive, you could do the backups every few nights and not have to sweat it. Tapes are also a bit more resilient to being dropped, and scratches. You can scratch the top of the cassette all you want and it will still work... Scratch the top of the dvd, and you just lost data (some if not all of it).

    More things to think about.
     
  16. ponyboy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 27, 2002
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    SLC UT/Italy
    #16
    Well I wont be backing up on a continous basis I just want to burn a backup copy of all of my mp3s put it in the case and stick in on a shelf in case anything ever happens to the hard drive they are on in the machine. I will do this everytime I get 4 gigs of new music just burn the stuff that wasnt burned before and stash it away. I also will be doing DVDs for customers of thier photos (wedding)
     

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